The Work: Plays


1983, (One Act) Third Play in cycle of six One Woman Plays.


STEPHANIE, a Brooklyn schoolteacher, returns home from school to prepare a meal for SHELDON, her teacher husband, before they go to a lecture. She talks to him imagining he's in the house somewhere, realises he isn't, goes to the bedroom to prepare herself, finds a note from him - he's left her.

Eight short scenes: The homecoming, The discovery, The depression, The phone call, To the art gallery, To the restaurant, To the bookshop, To a Yard sale.

Comical, bitter, angry, defiant.


"And you should have seen him in bed. Or rather you shouldn't have seen him in bed. I'm sorry I ever saw him in bed. "Tonight's the night" he'd announce. Subtly. "Faw what, honey?" I used to put on a shy, southern drawl and pretend I didn't know what he was on about. "What night's this, sugar plum? You all surely don't mean - oh my, Sheldon, there's no stopping you I do declare." And then he'd leap onto the bed in his altogether and start jumping up and down so's his shlong and spheroids flip-flapped about his thighs and I'd have to join him and bounce alongside of him so's my titties went flip-flap too and we made such a right old slap-smacking sound that I'm certain all the neighbours could hear. Sensuality, Maxie? He had the sensuality of a rhino stuck in mud, of a crocodile with false teeth, of a baboon full of fleas, a crab, a snail, a hyena, a pterodactyl! And all because he said he loved me. What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do, what? Tell me, what? What, what, what?"


From his earliest plays, Wesker has always delineated women with understanding and sympathy. Both these qualities are present here [in Yardsale and Whatever Happened to Betty Lemon] …each character convinces one equally of the depth of her suffering and of the resilience of her spirit …
Francis King, Sunday Telegraph